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WION Edit: Will Artificial Intelligence lead to job losses?

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Delhi Nov 08, 2019, 01.33 PM (IST)

Where is India in the Artificial Intelligence race? What should India do to be future-ready?

On WION Edit, we will explore these questions.

At the outset, we want to say opposing innovation and science is both silly and futile as Artificial Intelligence is inevitable.

We must equip ourselves for the shift. We would like to highlight an unfortunate contrast here.

Indians have been excellent at Artificial Intelligence, but not India. 

Spending on AI has improved in sectors like financial services, high tech, automotive and assembly. But this is far from enough. India's workforce isn't skilled to make the transition.

The vast sections of graduate and post-graduate degree holders view AI as a fantastic idea rather than a realistic one. This utter lack of urgency will prove to be costly.

According to a study by EY and Nasscom, in just 3 years from now, 46 per cent of the workforce will be engaged in entirely new jobs that do not even exist today.

India runs the risk of a huge disruption. Forget AI, the labour force in India is not skilled enough even for conventional jobs in the market..

Job profiles are changing rapidly. If India's young workers are not skilled with relevant technologies, then the jobs data will only look worse by 2022. And don't blame the big business if such a thing happens. Firms will shift to artificial intelligence to cut costs and synergise their functioning.

The workforce has to catch up. Technical education in schools must be enhanced. It's not enough to teach just programming languages like 'Fortran' or 'C' or 'Java'.

Ask yourself this question, how many Indian students use a graphic user interface to visualise materials or chemical structure. India's education system has not evolved. It's just a good old textbook.

That's where the government comes in, revamp education, reskill the workforce. The corporate sector will have to pitch in.

Indians do some of the most difficult research and analysis in computation, coding and theoretical computer science. But for most Indians, the greatest technological break-through over the last 3 decades has been the access to a smartphone!

This divide needs to be corrected if we have to ride the Artificial Intelligence tide and make no mistake, we have to, saying no to evolution is not an option. Preparing for it is. 
 

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)

Story highlights

Spending on AI has improved in sectors like financial services, high tech, automotive and assembly. But this is far from enough. India's workforce isn't skilled to make the transition.